GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 22
GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 22 ~ ~ Psalm 97:5~ ~“The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”
Excerpts from Chapter two of John Piper’s, “The Pleasures of God”
“The Pleasure of God in all He does” ~ ~ ( Anything in perenthesis is my addition.)
In chapter 1 we focused on the pleasure that God the Father has in His son. The most important lesson to be learned from that truth is this:
God is and always has been an exuberantly happy God. From all eternity, even before there were any human beings to love, God has been overflowingly happy in His love for the Son. He has never been lonely. He has always rejoiced.
A second lesson to learn is that God is not constrained by any inner deficiency or unhappiness to do anything He does not want to do, in order to become happy.
This is what distinguishes us from God. We have an immense void inside that craves satisfaction from powers and persons and pleasures outside ourselves. Yearning and longing and desire are the very stuff of our nature. We are born deficient and needy and dissatisfied.
We come into this world knowing almost nothing, and have to spend years and years learning in the school of hard knocks in order to fill up a little of this void of ignorance.
Parents and teachers tell us to do things that we don’t like to do because we need to do them to overcome some weakness in ourselves—to increase our knowledge or strengthen our bodies, refine our manners, or sharpen our intellect.
But God is not like that. He has been complete and overflowing with satisfaction from all eternity.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?
Or who has given a gift to Him that He might be repaid?
To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen”
(what every person needs to know) ~ ~ Whatever you or I or anyone or any circumstance offers to God, it is only the reflex of something He has already given or already done. The source of all things cannot be enriched or tempted with angelic or human service.
Acts 17:25~ ~
“He is not served by human hands as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all men life and breath and everything”
If anyone offers to God anything, and aims to offer it rightly, he must say with David, in 1 Chronicles 29:14 and 1 Cor 4:7 ~ ~
“Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from You, and we have given only what comes from You?”
In other words, all that is, including the ability to offer willingly, is a gift from an overflowing, all-sufficient, every-happy God.
(This is why God said in Isaiah 64:6 ~ ~
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
We can do nothing to please God because we have nothing within ourselves to benefit God. It’s only by salvation through Christ that we become anything that the Father could love, because He loves us through the righteousness and beauty of His Son)
(with that background, we come to the) focus of the second chapter. God does what He does, not begrudgingly or under external constraint as though He were boxed in or trapped by some unforeseen or unplanned situation.
On the contrary, because He is complete and exuberantly happy in the fellowship of the Trinity, all He does is free and uncoerced. His deeds are the overflow of His joy.
This is what it means when Scripture says that God acts according to the “good pleasure” of His Will, in Ephesians 1:5. It means that nothing outside God’s own pleasure—the pleasure He has in Himself—has constrained His choices and His deeds.
More about all God does tomorrow
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